Mark May 2023 as the first family celebration we've been able to go OUTSIDE since September 2022. We were sad when rain was predicted. It didn't rain. It was a gorgeous day. Today's celebration fell on Gideon's birthday. He is 6 years old today. He came a month early when Mike and I were in Alaska looking for a home to buy so we could all move up here. We moved up in June and everyone followed in July. We also celebrated Arielle turning 26, Izaak's milestone birthday, JaRissa's 7th anniversary, and Stacia's GRADUATION.
What? Graduation? This seems to have hit several older Gherkins quite suddenly. Our baby has graduated. An era is done. We've homeschooled for 35 years. Stacia slid into college without taking a break as she rounded home to grab a high school diploma. She didn't want a big ceremony. She wanted to do "whatever" during May's family celebration. So - we did. We've joined homeschool co-ops and had the full-fledged ceremonies for 3. We created our own ceremony at a base community center for one. One walked across a bridge in Japan, one chose DQ with friends in TX (while on a move from Japan to CA). One chose the movie theater, one was a covid graduate, one chose horseback riding and a BBQ here at the house...I love watching how the kids choose to celebrate. Stacia would also like a party with her youth friends...so we're working to get a date picked for that.
Everyone brought their own meat to burn, we provided sides and desserts. Several arrived early and helped pull out the picnic tables and set up the trampoline for the season. Y'all - WINTER IS OVER!
Dad agreed to come out for the afternoon.
|GG and Josiah|
|Nolan, Jared, Noah and Larissa catching up |
|Liv, Allie, unseen grands, Danny, Benny, Stacia|
|Bre, Nolan and Alex in the background|
It was fun to have Nolan and Alex arrive from their home across town. Alex brought RIBS. They were good. I got the recipe.
|Noah is 4 months old! 📷by Carrie|
|Such sweet giggles! 📷by Larissa|
|Son, these are chickens. Your Bachan and Papa|
are chicken people. 📷by Larissa
The chickens and baby chicks (who are now about 5 weeks old) are a big hit with the younger crowd.
Monday night at t-ball we ordered a t-ball stand for Wibbly Wobbly Acres Preserve. We were SHOCKED when it arrived on THURSDAY. Josiah and Carrie picked up some bases. Cory and Arielle brought ball and bat, and several brought their gloves. It was great fun. This reminded me of the kick ball games we used to play as a family in CA.
|Go, Livie! |
We had told Shannon and Lindsey, our friends who are....well...going on a road trip...we would be interested in buying the little house they had in the parsonage yard if they needed to move it. They decided they were giving it to us. When we picked it up it also came with a car, a wagon, a couple of bikes, a small thing of nail polish, assorted little plastic toys in the carrier area... What a huge surprise...and let me tell you each toy was widely appreciated. It gave me secret smiles as I remembered conversations with Lindsey...and watched the grands play on the girls' toys.
|Powered by 100% girl power! 📷by Allie|
|Benny and Bella 📷by Allie|
Michael power-washed the house. We have plans to stain and paint it to match our house, but it didn't get done by today. The kids didn't care.
|Benny, Little Buddy, Bella📷by Allie|
|Gideon loved being a chauffeur. 📷by Allie|
These two! Pure energy and activity. Pure joy. You can see Danny's face. Little Buddy's was just as excited. They took turns driving each other around.
|Josiah - our 3rd 2 yo. (Jo jo)|
Danny seems to be the grand which loves the horse the best. He sits on it and patiently waits. When one of us hits it's rump and it makes galloping noises he begins to madly ride it. LOL Actually, the horse was gifted to us by Shannon and Lindsey last year when the girls had grown out of it. It's still well-loved.
|A boy and his horse. |
Uncle Jamin arrived. Being self-employed, work often hounds him - but he does a good job of being present with us when he can break away. He's a favorite with the grands.
|Jamin, Annie, Benny and Jojo📷by Allie|
|Danny plays hard.|
| Hello, Boys! 📷by Allie|
|Little Budy - we love you! 📷by Allie|
|SMACK! Gideon's got it. 📷by Allie|
|BreZaak's children - minus Trudy📷by Carrie|
The wind picked up and it got chilly. The timing was perfect to move inside for cakes and gifts. First, Stacia had to don a graduation robe and walk the aisle...while Pomp and Circumstance played. We cheered. She didn't give a speech.
|Perfect gift! Arielle is 26. Letting that sink in. |
Josiah had been eagerly waiting for Arielle to open her gift. It's a T-rex toilet paper holder...and it fits the theme of the bathroom in their new home. The master suite has a bathroom so the hallway bathroom has been dubbed "the boys bathroom" and they chose all things dinosaur.
It's been fun to watch Jared slide into his new Daddy role.
Yes, we continue to put candles for each celebrant on a cake round. Gideon was excited. He loved his spiderman cake. He matched the cake.
Izaak had quite a few more candles than Gideon.
I laughed when one of the kids said, "Aunt Arielle, You're old." The comment soon followed that Izaak was "very old." Kids are fun!
Gideon was the designated pig hat wearer.
Izaak worked long hours on homework all week so he could join us. We are so happy he did. It was fun to celebrate him in person. Izaak is just about to finish a masters in human services...and then he will finish his masters from seminary in formational leadership or something leadership. He's been working diligently, steadily....and when the masters are done? He will be able to get into the Phd program he wants to get into for counseling from Liberty University. I may well edit the exact titles of these degrees at a later date. LOL I LOVE all the online options for young families these days. I wish we could have spent a few more years in Eugene with family before moving away for seminary...but in the day...one went "in residence."
Allie has been missing JaRissa's visits as they conflict with her work schedule. She soaked up lots of vibes from all the grands today...but especially Noah bear.
Sweet moments with Trudy. She is six months old already!
I leave you with this very telling photo. Benny is dying to get his chance to hold the chicks. Papa told him to wait a bit, then someone gave Papa Noah bear. Both Papa and Benny have priceless expressions.
Yes, all who wanted to hold a chick were able to do so.
We missed Krista and Luke. Krista was in Hawaii last week and is Guam this week.
Now, it feels like spring is really here. A month ago, we were shoveling and snow blowing to get to the play set...today...things are starting to green up nicely. Two Saturdays ago we still had 4 feet of snow on the ground, and it was snowing. One week ago, the snow was mostly gone - and everything was brown. Today all our snow is gone, the ground is drying out nicely and green leaves have appeared everywhere. The neighbors are disappearing and that always signals summer.
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